Local media reported on a recent shooting near the 800 block of Broad Ripple Ave. Various sources within IMPD state the violent crime in and around Broad Ripple has been trending upward since April. Customers who frequent Broad Ripple restaurants and bars on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays have been overwhelmed by huge crowds of loitering black youth and an abnormal increase in “cruising” vehicles. Many patrons state that the “atmosphere” around Broad Ripple has changed dramatically in the last 2 months; citing a more “thug-like” influence has descended on this historically peaceful area. Sources state the number of arrests, specifically gun related arrests, has risen dramatically in the last month. Reports of large fights, narcotics usage and large groups of non-paying pedestrians have caused great concern for many of the business owners in Broad Ripple. Economics is greatly influenced by perceived public safety, and right now Broad Ripple is struggling to find solutions to the current trend.
Previous months saw similar problems in the Downtown area: Large fights involving black youth, narcotics usage and gunfire. IMPD committed a great number of resources to the Downtown District to try and contain problem. Why? Businesses located in the Downtown were concerned for the safety of their customers and the economic impact it would have if people stopped visiting their establishments. I surmise the same concern exits in Broad Ripple. So what is the common element linking Downtown with Broad Ripple?
At the risk of sounding racist (and I really don’t care) I will stated unequivocally that both locations experienced a huge increase in loitering black youth. Facts are facts, and I cannot sugar-coat what is painfully true. Politicians and many business owners won’t state the facts for fear of being labeled racist by the Al Sharpton’s of the world, but I will. It seems everywhere in Indianapolis that large groups of black youth congregate, there is an increase in violent crime. How is our police department supposed to deal with this reality? They are criticized for “profiling”, but they are also criticized for increased violent crime as if it’s their fault. Broad Ripple, like Downtown, has many businesses that rely on paying customers, and if the money dries up, the bars and restaurants shut down, people lose jobs, the city loses tax dollars, and the quality of life regresses accordingly. IMPD is held accountable by the media, concerned clergy, and various organizations to do something to stop the violent crime, and yet they demand IMPD not profile! How much sense does that make?
When will city leaders begin to hold the black ministers and families accountable for rearing morally deficient youth? The quicker our community and government leaders stop caring what the media and concerned clergy think of them, the quicker we can get on with containing violent crime.
I pray these last two months in Broad Ripple aren’t a small taste of what’s to come starting July 20th, the final weekend of Indiana Black Expo. God help our city.